Medicaid News: Ariz. Appeals Court Upholds Cuts
In the Arizona decision, a three-judge panel allows an enrollment freeze to continue. Meanwhile, a new analysis finds federal spending on Medicaid nationwide increased 344 percent between 1990 and 2007.
MSNBC/KVOA: Arizona Appeals Court Won't Block Medicaid Freeze
An appeals court on Tuesday refused to block a major cost-cutting reduction of Arizona's Medicaid program, leaving intact an enrollment freeze projected to result in over 100,000 fewer sign-ups of low-income adults without children. A judge had ruled against a challenge to the freeze implemented by the state's Medicaid program, known as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (12/7).
Arizona Republic: Arizona Appeals Court Won't Block Medicaid Freeze
Lawmakers capped enrollment for childless adults in July as part of a budget-balancing package. Attorneys for low-income Arizonans argued that the cuts violated a voter-approved measure that expanded AHCCCS to include everyone below the poverty level. In his ruling, Brain said Proposition 204 may require health coverage for certain Arizonans, but it doesn't force the Legislature to pay for it (Reinhart, 12/6).
The Washington Post: Wonkblog: The Feds' Big Medicaid Spend, In One Chart
Spending on Medicaid increased a mindboggling 344 percent between 1990 and 2007, according to a new S&P analysis. The paper raises one counterintuitive point: Despite advocates constant fear of federal cuts, any changes to Medicaid financing policy in Washington tend to mean more money for the program, not less (Kliff, 12/6).
In other state news affecting Medicaid:
The Wall Street Journal: Albany Boosts Taxes On Wealthiest
The governor's office estimated that the state would recoup an extra $1.9 billion in revenue—more than half the size of next year's projected deficit. ... The governor and lawmakers have already agreed to increase spending on Medicaid and public schools. The cash infusion would make it easier for the governor to avoid slashing other programs (Gershman and Grossman, 12/7).
California Healthline: Mandatory Enrollment Draws Attention From Legislators
The state wants to move fee-for-service Medi-Cal beneficiaries who are seniors and persons with disabilities into managed care plans. At the same time, the state is in the initial stages of launching a demonstration project to eventually move up to 1.1 million dual eligibles -- those eligible for both Medicare and Medi-Cal benefits -- into managed care. Today in Sacramento, those two significant efforts get some legislative oversight (Gorn, 12/7).
Stateline: Federal Health Law Offers New Benefits For Children Of State Workers
When the national health law was enacted early last year, it contained one seemingly technical provision that few people noticed. It lifted a ban on state employees enrolling their kids in the federally subsidized Children's Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). In fact, that was no small move. It promised relief from a 13-year restriction resented as unfair by low-income teachers, university staff and other members of the state workforce. But states have been slow to take advantage of it (Vestal, 12/6).
Earlier, related KHN story: Children's Health Program Opened To Low-Income State Employees (Barr, 11/7)
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